Melanie Conklin

Recent Articles

Everybody Wants Action From Gov. Evers

Everybody Wants Action From Gov. Evers

Madison protesters want protection. Republican legislators want tougher policing.

Pocan Bill Bans Liability Waivers From Crowds

Pocan Bill Bans Liability Waivers From Crowds

During pandemic would prevent gatherings of 1,000 or more, including Trump campaign events, to require attendees to sign waivers.

Evers Rejects UW System Rules on Sex Assault

Evers Rejects UW System Rules on Sex Assault

System changes, in line with new federal regulations on sex harassment and assault, could have 'chilling' effect on victims, Evers says.

Trump Suit Against TV Station Questioned

Trump Suit Against TV Station Questioned

Lawyer for Rhinelander TV station that ran anti-Trump ad calls for suit’s dismissal: it’s the “highest form of protected speech.”

Right Wing Group Pushes Prison Reform

Right Wing Group Pushes Prison Reform

State can’t afford new prison, Badger Institute notes, so policymakers should look to reforms used by other states.

Could Floyd’s Killing Lead to State Reform?

Could Floyd’s Killing Lead to State Reform?

Evers calls for long-delayed bill on deadly use of force by police to be taken up by Legislature.

Evers Joins Phone Call With Trump

Evers Joins Phone Call With Trump

President urges governors "to get tougher” with protestors. Evers says nothing.

Evers Appoints Three New UW Regents

Evers Appoints Three New UW Regents

Effective immediately, will help shift direction of UW System policies.

Wisconsin’s Lousy Record for Women in Politics

Wisconsin’s Lousy Record for Women in Politics

Two politicos talk about getting more women in elected offices.

Walker Opposes Bailing Out States

Walker Opposes Bailing Out States

In a New York Times op-ed the former governor trashed state government and called for directing aid to workers.

Is Wisconsin a ‘Failed State’?

Is Wisconsin a ‘Failed State’?

The Guardian questions if state can perform its core job, "protecting people’s basic security.”

Wisconsin Relaxes Food Stamps Rules

Wisconsin Relaxes Food Stamps Rules

Residents using SNAP benefits can now buy groceries online.

Janet Bewley Is New State Senate Minority Leader

Janet Bewley Is New State Senate Minority Leader

Sen. Bewley sets her sights on overcoming GOP opposition, re-taking the senate.

Evers Orders Budget Cuts

Evers Orders Budget Cuts

State losing billions in revenue due to the economic shutdown.

The Return of Brad Pfaff

The Return of Brad Pfaff

Former state agriculture secretary running for state senate, the very body that ousted him.

Many Democratic Legislators Resigning

Many Democratic Legislators Resigning

But Assembly Minority Leader Hintz seeks reelection to his post.

GOP Donor Uihlein Calls COVID-19 “Overhyped”

GOP Donor Uihlein Calls COVID-19 “Overhyped”

Liz Uihlein, co-founding of Uline, is a major Trump donor spending millions on right-wing causes.

Healthcare Orgs Support Safer At Home Extension

Healthcare Orgs Support Safer At Home Extension

More than a dozen major organizations in Wisconsin signed letter praising the extension.

State Senate Proposal Bashes China’s Leaders

State Senate Proposal Bashes China’s Leaders

This is "where the Communist Party of China is stripped naked,” Senate President Roger Roth says.

Detente Ends for Evers, Legislature

Detente Ends for Evers, Legislature

Cooperation during pandemic ends as Vos, Fittzgerald blast governor on election timing.

Change Lame Duck Law, Baldwin Urges Legislators

Change Lame Duck Law, Baldwin Urges Legislators

Republican law passed to limit governor’s power prevents him from getting federal funding for COVID-19.

GOP Lame-Duck Law Blocks COVID-19 Aid

GOP Lame-Duck Law Blocks COVID-19 Aid

State GOP was warned of unintended consequences to their law in 2018.

Sen. Fred Risser Retires After 64 Years

Sen. Fred Risser Retires After 64 Years

He is the longest serving legislator in the United States.

Will State Legislature Take Action?

Will State Legislature Take Action?

Fitzgerald cancels Senate session, but Republicans expect extraordinary session later this spring.

Democrats Call for Paid Sick Leave Bill

Democrats Call for Paid Sick Leave Bill

Under state law, as workers have to self-quarantine, they are left with no pay.

Legislators Take No Action on Pandemic

Legislators Take No Action on Pandemic

Some states passing laws, funding, Vos and Fitzgerald say "no need" for Wisconsin Legislature to meet.

Wisconsin A Toss-Up in 2020

Wisconsin A Toss-Up in 2020

Electoral analysis shows Wisconsin is among seven states that will decide presidential election.

Evers Addresses COVID-19 in Wisconsin

Evers Addresses COVID-19 in Wisconsin

Governor declares state of emergency, urges closure of large events.

Drugged Driving On The Rise In Wisconsin

Drugged Driving On The Rise In Wisconsin

Law Enforcement is concerned about ability to identify and prosecute drugged drivers.

Supreme Court Case Could Affect Abortion Access in Wisconsin

Supreme Court Case Could Affect Abortion Access in Wisconsin

The High Court weighs case that could effectively overturn Roe v. Wade.

Scott Walker Battles Eric Holder

Scott Walker Battles Eric Holder

And former Wisconsin governor doesn’t do so well.

State Assembly Pushing For Constitutional Convention

State Assembly Pushing For Constitutional Convention

State GOP is pushing the legislature to join others around the country in an attempt to ratify controversial amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

AG Objects to Relaxed Lead Pipe Rules

AG Objects to Relaxed Lead Pipe Rules

Kaul joins other Attorneys General in objection to new EPA rules for lead pipe removal.

Assembly Rejects Bipartisan Rape Kit Bill

Assembly Rejects Bipartisan Rape Kit Bill

Republicans pass bill with "poison pills' that will force veto by Gov. Evers.

Will Republicans Kill Rape Kit Bill?

Will Republicans Kill Rape Kit Bill?

30 states passed bills to assure rape kits are processed. Only Wisconsin has made it partisan, expert testifies.

Evers Supports Greater Funding For Farm Crisis Bills

Evers Supports Greater Funding For Farm Crisis Bills

Speaker Robin Vos is proposing a bigger investment, and Evers is on board.

Sexual Assault Bill Becomes Partisan Issue

Sexual Assault Bill Becomes Partisan Issue

Bipartisan bill ready to pass but gets hijacked by Republicans adding provisions on school choice, ICE.

Farmers Forgotten?

Farmers Forgotten?

Despite bipartisan reception, farm legislation delayed during special legislative session.

Who’s the Most Partisan?

Who’s the Most Partisan?

Republican legislators suddenly embrace bipartisan peacemaking, blast Evers as partisan.

Bid to Amend Constitution Gets Weird

Bid to Amend Constitution Gets Weird

GOP legislators back constitutional convention and chair mistakes one black lawmaker for another.

Republicans Bash Evers Before He Speaks

Republicans Bash Evers Before He Speaks

Condemn governor as too partisan, but his State of State speech is mostly conciliatory.

Clock Ticking for Legislature

Clock Ticking for Legislature

Short session, just two months planned for 2020. Can two parties agree on any legislation?

Nation Watches State Voter Purge Battle

Nation Watches State Voter Purge Battle

Number of names to be struck from voting list is 9 times higher than Trump’s 2016 margin in Wisconsin.

Women Legislators Discuss Hate Mail

Women Legislators Discuss Hate Mail

Zamarripa gets hate mail at home and office, on weekly basis.

Lawsuit Would Take Marsy’s Law Off April Ballot

Lawsuit Would Take Marsy’s Law Off April Ballot

Advocacy groups, attorneys argue victims rights constitutional amendment leaves voters in the dark on its sweeping impact.

Ryan, Boehner, Gingrich to Team Up

Ryan, Boehner, Gingrich to Team Up

Three former speakers will work to keep Republican control of most state legislatures.

Poll Shows Trump Ahead in State

Poll Shows Trump Ahead in State

MU Poll shows him beating the major Democratic candidates, though within margin of error.

Evers Orders National Guard Leader to Resign

Evers Orders National Guard Leader to Resign

Governor calls for sweeping changes in how sexual assault and harassment is reported, investigated.

Poor Hit Again by Food Aid Cuts

Poor Hit Again by Food Aid Cuts

Trump follows Walker model to cut more, as many as 25,000 in state will lose aid.

Wisconsin Ranks 17th in Generosity

Wisconsin Ranks 17th in Generosity

Though much better at volunteering than giving money.

Kaul Pushes Assembly for Rape Kit Bill

Kaul Pushes Assembly for Rape Kit Bill

AG wants legislation to ensure no more backlog of untested sexual assault kits.

Where Have All The Hunters Gone?

Where Have All The Hunters Gone?

Millennials less likely to hunt. To counter decline state looks to women and children.

How Homeless Got Frozen Out

How Homeless Got Frozen Out

With no explanation, Fitzgerald stopped bipartisan bill providing grants to homeless shelters.

Legislature Passing Few Bills

Legislature Passing Few Bills

Assembly and Senate seldom in session. Just 21 bills passed in 2019 while typical average is more than 300.

Assembly Debates Christmas, er, Holiday Tree

Assembly Debates Christmas, er, Holiday Tree

"I don’t expect a big issue” or “holy wars”, Rep Hintz says. Wrong.

Meet Evers’ New Ag Advisor, Brad Pfaff

Meet Evers’ New Ag Advisor, Brad Pfaff

Governor’s fired Agriculture Secretary now the Department of Administration’s director of business and rural development.

Evers, Blank Plan $15 Minimum Wage

Evers, Blank Plan $15 Minimum Wage

Raises for all state and UW-Madison workers in 2020/2021

Gasp, It’s a Holiday Tree!

Gasp, It’s a Holiday Tree!

So says Gov. Evers about Capitol tree, with the added theme, “Celebrate Science.”

Paging 402,000 People Lacking Health Care

Paging 402,000 People Lacking Health Care

Evers administration urges enrollment in state health insurance marketplace. You have until December 15.

State Jobs Will Go Unfilled

State Jobs Will Go Unfilled

Republican Finance Committee co-chairs refuse Evers request for 60 new hires in state government.

Op Ed: Vos, Fitzgerald Scared of Gun Reforms
Op Ed

Vos, Fitzgerald Scared of Gun Reforms

Scared bill could threaten reelection of some GOP legislators — and give Evers a win.

Democrats Push Paid Family Leave Bill

Democrats Push Paid Family Leave Bill

Modeled after other states, bill creates insurance trust fund paid for entirely by employees.

Sean Duffy Joins the “CNN Family”

Sean Duffy Joins the “CNN Family”

And he’s already getting attacked for peddling conspiracy theories.

State Resists Immunizations

State Resists Immunizations

Wisconsin ranks 35th in percent of immunized children, yet bipartisan bill to address problem is stalled in committee.

Rep. Anderson Votes Against His Own Accommodation. Why?

Rep. Anderson Votes Against His Own Accommodation. Why?

Republicans pass controversial rule changes, and accommodation for quadriplegic lawmaker, on party line votes.

“Hemp is as American as the Constitution”

“Hemp is as American as the Constitution”

Industrial hemp has great potential as a cash crop for Wisconsin farmers.

Suicide Texting Hotline Money Finally Released

Suicide Texting Hotline Money Finally Released

Republican-led Joint Finance Committee held up releasing funds for almost three months

Evers’ Requests AG Opinion on State Agency Rule making

Evers’ Requests AG Opinion on State Agency Rule making

This is the first request made public on the DOJ's website that allows for public opinion.

Pot Tourism in Illinois?

Pot Tourism in Illinois?

Could Illinois become a tourist destination for Wisconsinites that like marijuana?

The “Fitz” Train Is Rolling

The “Fitz” Train Is Rolling

Scott Fitzgerald’s run for Congress embraces Trump and anti-union Right to Work law.

State Task Force Hears From Chemical Lobby

State Task Force Hears From Chemical Lobby

American Chemistry Council fights regulation of dangerous chemicals.

What Polls Show About the Legislature

What Polls Show About the Legislature

Voters have net positive view of Legislature but negative toward Vos, split on Fitzgerald.

Choose Life Program Still a Mystery

Choose Life Program Still a Mystery

President says group had nothing to do with bill that would give it $500,000 from the state.

Kaul Rejects Settlement with Oxycontin

Kaul Rejects Settlement with Oxycontin

Attorney General says estimated $12 billion settlement with 23 states doesn’t go far enough.

Kaul Says Lame Duck Law Costs Taxpayers

Kaul Says Lame Duck Law Costs Taxpayers

AG says legislative oversight stalls cases, makes lower settlements for taxpayers likely.

Can New Leader Clean Up WEDC?

Can New Leader Clean Up WEDC?

Evers appointee Melissa Hughes takes over long-troubled state jobs agency.

50 Years of Jim Sensenbrenner

50 Years of Jim Sensenbrenner

The numbers, the gruffness, the tales. And who will run for his seat?

Working for Clean Energy a Tricky Task

Working for Clean Energy a Tricky Task

Polls show bipartisan support, but how you talk about it matters.

State Has Bad Roads, Low Fatalities

State Has Bad Roads, Low Fatalities

Latest rankings show mixed results, but increased state funding could help.

State Treasurer Backs Climate-Friendly Investing

State Treasurer Backs Climate-Friendly Investing

“We believe in science” and “investment in renewable energy," Godlewski declares.

No UW Regents at Hearing on Speech

No UW Regents at Hearing on Speech

Not one attended hearing on UW Regents policy that suspends or expels students for disrupting speeches.

Wisconsin Has 15 Hate Groups

Wisconsin Has 15 Hate Groups

More than in Iowa or Illinois. Southern Poverty Law Center finds 30% rise in U.S. hate groups.

About That Mandela Barnes Controversy

About That Mandela Barnes Controversy

Media firestorm about college degree part of wide-ranging Isthmus feature story.

Examining the Dark-Store Loophole

Examining the Dark-Store Loophole

Loophole lets big box stores lower their taxes while effectively raising taxes for residents.

Foxconn Jobs Not Worth The Cost

Foxconn Jobs Not Worth The Cost

New analysis shows the cost to taxpayers per job outweighs the return.

GOP Suit Slaps Kaul on Lame Duck Laws

GOP Suit Slaps Kaul on Lame Duck Laws

AG contests lawsuit, calling it “attempt to undermine public safety in Wisconsin.”

Vos Previews Assembly’s Fall Agenda

Vos Previews Assembly’s Fall Agenda

Possible legislation in three areas: water quality, suicide prevention and adoption.

Student Debt Earns State a Bad Ranking

Student Debt Earns State a Bad Ranking

Report finds Wisconsin 6th highest in percent of former students with debt.